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12771585_1090877350933556_3006488293437324872_oAnd so, the long awaited documentary Thou Art: Dublin is about to be previewed in the Irish Film Institute (IFI)  this Saturday 26th March for its cast and crew members . The documentary was filmed around the streets of Dublin, in my then studio, at The Talbot Gallery & Studios on Talbot Street; and in the other participating artist’s studios (Joe Ryan, Colin O’Daly, Donal MacManus, Donal Murray). A lot has changed since 2012 when this was filmed; both in terms of my practice, and in my outlook on the Dublin/Irish art scene -little did I know that we’d be watching the finished product in the IFI four years later!  Looking forward to seeing the preview, and meeting the other artists and crew.

Thou Art: Dublin is a documentary that attempts to paint an intimate portrait of the creative life of Dublin.  Set in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, the film documents the efforts of five artists as they communicate the vision of their work amid the difficulties of the recession. More info here 

 

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Last night The Blind Elephant Illustration Collective had a big night out at the Lighthouse for the opening of the Coen Brothers latest movie, Hail Cesar!  Our group were invited to redesign posters of their favorite Coen Brothers’ films and exhibit the works alongside the movie launch. There are some rockin’ renditions of some of the Coen’s best loved films on display- I chose the film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis'( see below).

The re-imagined movie posters will be on show in the Mezzanine area of the Lighthouse Cinema from the opening night of Hail Caesar! on March 4th. The exhibition will run until March 18th

 

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‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, re-imagined poster by Aisling Conroy; 2016

 

 

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It’s coming to the end of the residency here at the Arthouse. I started back in August 31st 2015 with many plans, inspirations and aspirations; and six months on, I’ve come out of it with a body of work that I never expected. The artist Padraig Robinson’s artwork ‘Knowing You, Knowing Me'(2007) which is on display just outside my studio door; seemed to resonate volumes as I packed up my things and left the Arthouse.

The initial listing for the Patrick Scott Archive has been completed and will entail a much larger project in hand for NIVAL in the coming year; something that the archive are very excited about. Simultaneously working in the studio and delving through Pat’s collection has inspired the work, but without doubt, the dark Winter months of travelling to the studio every week have certainly managed to make their “spiritual stamp” on the paintings (‘Sigil’ series, 2015) and some of the sound/video work too.  The Winter has been tough, but over all an incredible experience having such a serene, comfortable space to come and work in.

The support which I received throughout my time at the Arthouse has been undying. With many thanks and appreciation to Muireann Ní Chonaill, Maureen Culliton, Bridie Keenan Wendy Wright, and Julie Ann Shead in the Library for all their help during the residency. A serious band of women to behold! And a special thank you to NIVAL for access to their significant resources.

The work made in residence at the Arthouse will be on exhibition in June 2016 at The Arthouse Gallery. Details TBA.

 

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Patrick Scott, date unknown; courtesy of NIVAL

 

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A snap shot from the collection at NIVAL

 

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Sigil (2015) 15cm x 15cm;  acrylic and nylon thread on wood

 

 

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Last Monday 18th Jan, there was a public launch for the ‘Hares on the March‘ project at Dublin Castle.  After this event, the team went over to a huge ground floor storage facility in Smithfield Square D7. They were allowed to use this place to store the plinths, with hares inside for the week as they distributed them around the city.  They received a 40 ft rigid truck full of plinths and hares, these had to be unloaded by hand then loaded into one of the 2 vans involved in the distribution/installation process. As you can imagine battling through peak Dublin traffic, one way systems and Luas roadworks wasn’t the easiest route to navigate. So, the team decided to deliver hares to shops, galleries and work places during the day and hotels and shopping centres during the night.

Four long days and nights saw 2 vans and 6 operatives deliver the vast majority of plinths, hares and plaques to all 52 venues around Dublin city.  Thursday the 21st was allocated to replacing plaques on hares that had sponsors names applied. On Friday 22nd, the majority of 15,000 ‘Hare Trail’ booklets had being delivered to the participating venues.

The charity is hoping that funds raised for The Jack & Jill Foundation will make a big dent in the €2.7 million it needs in 2016 to provide home nursing care to sick children nationwide. Please check out the website for more info on the trail and how to bid for this worthy cause http://www.haresonthemarch.ie/index.html#services

Lastly, on Wednesday 9th March 12noon in the CHQ Building (IFSC, Dublin 1), there will be an exhibition as well as a ‘Meet and Greet’ function for all artists, sponsors, supporters and followers at the . Being able to see all 110 hares in one venue together is going to be a wonderful sight to behold.

I’ve already had a bidder for my own creation, ‘Midnight’s Fable’ which is a great start with only a few days after the launch, and hopefully there will be plenty more raised for the Jack & Jill Foundation by that time. ‘Midnight’s Fable’ can be seen on location at the Alexander Hotel on Fenian Street, D2.  You can check out the bidding catalogue here

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Midnight’s Fable, 2015

 

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On ending 2015 and four months into the residency at Laois Arthouse, my research on Patrick Scott and his work grows to new levels as I have delved into his collection of papers and studio books at NIVAL.

Scott’s love affair with simplistic forms in shimmering gold, influenced by Zen Buddhism, as well as his earlier work with striking Bauhaus tones in a brilliant rainbow of colours, appear to mirror his long colourful life. This is the impression that I get as I continue to appraise this collection and discover through numerous warm and heartfelt letters, postcards, greetings cards and fax mail from adoring friends and colleagues. Adored not just for his art, his skill and his professionalism, but for his friendship, his kindness, his witty humor, his understanding and his wisdom. I began this project with the artist in mind, his work and the influence it has has on my own practice; but now I have begun to get a glimpse of the person, and a life filled with love and expression. (Note: All photographs are taken for documentary purposes*)

The making in the studio still continues. I have just completed a series of six paintings titled ‘Sigil I-VI’. One of these in currently on display at the Dunamaise Gallery for their annual Winter show. The work attempts to interpret various forms of mystic ritual and meditative aids inspired by religious iconography, Zen and Sufi art.

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Thirteen boxes: the Patrick Scott Collection in its totality.

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Brochure design for the Dublin International Theatre Festival, 1957.

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A design for a Brown Thomas lighting brochure, 1952.

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Early designs for an Irish tourism brochure

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One of Pat’s infamous cat drawings from a fax mail:)

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The Hares on the March campaign was finally launched on  November 12th at the RDS. It’s has been a long month moving the hare from my studio to the kitchen table, to the studio, and then back to the kitchen again, BUT it was completed on time for the deadline…phew!

I have to say that, I really enjoyed working on it and I was sorry to say goodbye to this beautiful object. The mysterious hare is an animal I always adored from Irish wildlife so it really was a pleasure to be apart of this project, as well as helping to raise awareness about the Jack and Jill Foundation. Looking forward to seeing all the other hares dotted around the city in 2016. The design is inspired by my love of the paintings of Henri Rousseau, Patrick Scott and all manner of life from the natural world, as well as the mystical. Below are some shots of the making of  ‘Midnight’s Fable.’

Please click here if you would like to find out about sponsorship and how you can raise money for this worthy cause.

Keep an eye out for ‘Midnight’s Fable’ around Dublin city in the coming months! :)

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Work in progress, at the studio in Laois…

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…and my kitchen table in Dublin…

 

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The Blind Elephant Collective’s Annual Winter show is finally here, and as a new member (since June 2015) i’m really chuffed to be apart of another deadly project and exhibition with such a talented bunch of people. Keep on rockin’ Blind Elephants!:) Below are two pieces I made for the show. The opening was on Friday November 6th- and a brilliant night it was! Check out the photos here

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Chromagic’ 2015; acrylic, nylon thread and polaroid film on board  

 

The exhibition is currently showing at The Icon Factory in Temple Bar and will run until mid December.

The Icon Factory opening times:

Monday- Sunday 11am- 6pm

Visit:  The Icon Factory

The Blind Elephants and we’re on Facebook!

 

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I had the privilege to have digitised images for Nicola Gordon Bowe’s new book ‘Wilhelmina Geddes: Life and work.’ Such a beautiful publication about an extraordinary artist. The book was launched on Thursday 29th October at the Irish Architectural Archive.

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Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) was a vital figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and the 20th-century British stained glass revival – a medieval-modernist painter of rare intellect, skill and aesthetic integrity. On her death she was described as ‘the greatest stained glass artist of our time’ but since then she has been largely forgotten.

Wilhelmina Geddes (1887–1955) was a vital figure in the Irish Arts and Crafts movement and the 20th-century British stained glass revival – a medieval-modernist painter of rare intellect, skill and aesthetic integrity. On her death she was described as ‘the greatest stained glass artist of our time’ but since then she has been largely forgotten.

This magisterial account aims to bring Geddes, her world and her work to the wider audience that she deserves. As she moved from Belfast (where she attended art school), to Dublin (where she studied under William Orpen and worked with Sarah Purser at An Túr Gloine) to London (where she lived and worked throughout the Second World War and its aftermath), Geddes continued to produce stained glass and other works of unique power and originality.

Concentrating on the remarkable stained glass for which she is best known but also including other media such as printmaking and textiles, this study draws on hitherto-unpublished primary sources and images to fully celebrate Geddes’ remarkable artistic achievement.

Nicola Gordon Bowe, associate fellow, National College of Art & Design, has lectured and published widely on the applied arts and design. Publications include The Arts and Crafts Movements in Dublin and Edinburgh with E.S. Cumming (1998); Harry Clarke: the life and work (4th edition, 2012).

Visit Four Courts Press for more details.

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This September I was over the moon (no pun intended…well, maybe!) to discover that I was being given the opportunity to design a hare for the new Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation project, ‘Hares on the March’. The project has already commenced and culminating in March 2016 with a ‘Hare Trail’. The Hares on the March project will see a ‘Gathering’ of 110 3ft tall Hares being designed and beautifully created by a wonderful range of talented Irish artists. Each unique hare will sit on top of a stylish 4ft tall plinth; these will be located in public accessible places, similar to the Pigs on Parade event, and sold after in a Live Auction event and online in order to raise much needed funds for families of babies with brain damage nationwide. I’m hoping that Hares on the March project will have a positive impact on the cultural and social life of the Dublin City, whilst at the same time raising a chunk of much needed funds to support the invaluable work undertaken by The J&J Foundation.

So, why choose a hare?

Well, the Irish hare is indeed special – not because it is only found in Ireland but because it is also possibly our longest established native mammal – it was even here during the Ice Age! The Hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, Life, Creative Potency, Regeneration, Fertility, and Eternity.The symbolism is manifested in associations with Springtime, the Dawn, the Moon and Sacred Fire, the Egg, the Circle and the Infinity symbol, Marriage, Madness, Genius and Inspiration (both which seem to go hand in hand- haha!). 20151010_123124  20151013_091250

The 3ft x 1ft hare was delivered to my door by the very kind Shane from UPS on the morning of Saturday 10th October- thanks Shane!:)…the work has begun! mush mush!!

To keep updated on all of this worthwhile project’s news and developments check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HaresontheMarch

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One month has passed by on the residency at the Arthouse.  The peace and serenity of the studio and its surroundings has been unreal, a godsend. It always takes time to get settled into a studio and find ones “mojo”; but thankfully, a momentum has begun…

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The Barrow River on a sunny day in Stradbally village

 

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